Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Joy of Giving

Our boy, who had nothing when he came to us, has shown an incredible capacity for and love of giving.

While we were in Ethiopia, our friend Julie gave Eli two One Birr bills.  The exchange rate at that time was 18 Birr to the Dollar, so each bill was worth about a nickel.

Eli loved his money.  He kept it in his pocket or his backpack, and at the end of each day he'd take it out and put it in a drawer of the desk in our hotel room.  Always the same drawer. 

Then each morning, as soon as he dressed, he'd take his money out and put it back in his pocket.  When we left the hotel room, he'd often transfer it from his pocket to his backpack (which always came with us).

On our final day in Ethiopia, we had dinner at a restaurant with a bathroom attendant.  After Eli used the bathroom, he saw Brad put some money in the attendant's tip jar.  Eli ran back to the table and started rummaging through his backpack.  We thought he'd lost something, but then he came running back to the bathroom and put his two Birr in the attendant's jar.

And he had a huge smile on his face.  As much as he loved that money, it was clear he enjoyed giving it to that woman even more.

Fast-forward a few weeks. . . .

At church last Sunday Eli found a lucky penny (heads up!) on the floor of the pew where we sat.  He was so excited, and added it to the change he had in his pocket.

When it was time for the children to go up with their offerings, Eli took his dollar bill and went up to the alter.  He was up there for a bit longer than usual and we wondered what was delaying him

He returned to our pew and we realized why the delay:  He'd emptied his (velcro'd) pockets while he was up there.  Into the basket went his usual dollar, plus all the change he was carrying. 

Including his lucky penny.

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